Do All Leaders Need A Degree?

April 4, 2017 10:43 am Published by Leave your thoughts

degreeYour eyes may have also caught this recent headline on the BBC news website prompted by the situation in Kenya where all senior politicians are required by law to hold a degree if they are to hold office. It would appear that some may have ‘slipped through the net’ and face criminal charges as well as being removed from their position.

But it’s the wider question that fascinates me. The fact that having an academic achievement is seen as essential to ‘lead’. Really? Does ‘intellectual capability’ qualify you for a leadership position rather than any other form of intelligence?

When Peter Drucker all those years ago spoke about the critical importance of ‘energy’ to be an effective leader, I don’t think he was talking about intellectual energy alone. You could consider every leader having four “fuel tanks of energy” by which they make things happen. Alongside the ‘intellect tank’ is one for ‘physical energy’, one for ‘emotional’ and one for ‘spirit’ energies. The best leaders are those who draw on all of them, not just the one.

Leadership is seen in action everyday through people acting on what they believe in, stepping up to do what they see needs to be done or to create the changes that make the world a better place. It has less to do with job titles, status or dare I say a certificate that confirms I have passed an exam or completed a course of study. Leadership is about what we do, not what we know.

When the teenage Malala Yousafzai decided to lead for what mattered to her, young girls getting an education, it wasn’t a degree that got her up from the hospital bed, it was her ‘spirit energy’. Did she need a degree to make the world a better place? What really mattered was the energies to inspire, engage and to ‘do’. Not sure if you can get a degree in that?

Made you think! We’re happy to chat more about this topic and all things leadership development. Call Mick Roberts on 07918 768981 or e-mail at

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This post was written by Lee Morris

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